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Biden Administration to Issue Rule Closing ‘Gun Show Loophole’

Biden Administration to Issue Rule Closing ‘Gun Show Loophole’

Washington, D.C. — In a significant move aimed at enhancing gun safety and regulation, the Biden administration is set to close what has been commonly referred to as the “gun show loophole.” This long-debated issue has caused immense controversy and pain, and the new rule seeks to address it head-on.

The “gun show loophole” has allowed some gun buyers to avoid background checks when purchasing firearms. Under the current system, private sellers at gun shows, online platforms, and other venues are not always required to conduct these checks. This gap has raised concerns about public safety and the ease with which firearms can change hands without proper scrutiny.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in collaboration with the Justice Department, is introducing a comprehensive rule that will redefine who is considered “engaged in the business” of selling firearms. Here are the key points:

Definition Update: The ATF’s new definition will more precisely regulate the market by clarifying who must obtain a federal license.

Previously, those “engaged in the business” were required to register as federally licensed firearm dealers. The updated definition will explicitly list the types of commercial activities that trigger this requirement.

Background Checks: Sellers falling under the revised definition will be obligated to run background checks on buyers.

This measure aims to prevent individuals from evading licensing and background check requirements by claiming they are merely selling a few guns or that the firearms are part of a personal collection.

Public Input: The administration sought public input during the rule-making process, receiving over 300,000 comments. This inclusive approach underscores the importance of addressing this issue collectively.

The new rule aligns with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was passed in 2022. This legislation paved the way for a more precise definition of firearm dealers and their responsibilities.

Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized the impact of the rule, stating, “It will keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons.”

President Joe Biden expressed his commitment to reducing gun violence: “This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons.

And my Administration is going to continue to do everything we possibly can to save lives.” He urged Congress to pass universal background checks legislation.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a vocal advocate for gun safety, hailed the rule as a significant step: “This is maybe the most impactful change made possible by the 2022 gun safety bill.”

The rule, signed off by Attorney General Garland, is set to take effect within a month. Legal challenges are expected, but the administration believes it will withstand scrutiny. By closing the “gun show loophole,” the Biden administration aims to create a safer environment while respecting Second Amendment rights.

As ATF Director Steven Dettelbach aptly summarized, “It will also close the fire sale loophole as well by clarifying how firearms dealers who go out of business or lose their license must go about liquidating their inventory.”

In the ongoing effort to curb gun violence, this rule represents a pivotal moment—one that seeks to protect lives while preserving constitutional rights.